UFC middleweight Dean Lister has always been known as a ground ace, but his performances in MMA have often been less than exciting. Despite an impressive outing against Jeremy Horn at the season seven finale of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Lister has largely dropped off the radar screen of potential contenders in the 185 lb. division.
In an business environment where fighters are more frequently getting cut from the organization after one bad performance, UFC president Dana White had this to say about Lister, who faces Yushin Okami this Saturday at UFC 92.
“He needs to get in there and let his (expletive) go,” White told reporters after a press conference for the event. “He needs to go in there and actually try and finish a fight. Dean’s a talented guy, he’s been fighting in mixed martial arts for a long time, and he needs to go in there and show it.”
It’s inevitable that Okami and Lister will hit the mat come Saturday, and Okami’s wrestling prowess would seem tailor made for Lister’s submission ability. The danger with both fighters is an excess of respect. The way White paints it, a stalemate could be bad for their careers.